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The Black Count

Author: Tom Reiss
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 0307952959
Size: 12.62 MB
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WINNER OF THE 2013 PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY General Alex Dumas is a man almost unknown today, yet his story is strikingly familiar—because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used his larger-than-life feats as inspiration for such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. But, hidden behind General Dumas's swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: he was the son of a black slave—who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time. Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas made his way to Paris, where he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution—until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat. The Black Count is simultaneously a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern world’s first multi-racial society. TIME magazine called The Black Count "one of those quintessentially human stories of strength and courage that sheds light on the historical moment that made it possible." But it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.

The Black Count

Author: Tom Reiss
Publisher:
ISBN: 0307382478
Size: 59.38 MB
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The author of the best-selling The Orientalist traces the story of the mixed-race swordsman and father of novelist Alexandre Dumas, discussing his rise to the French aristocracy, his military triumphs and the adventures that inspired such classics as The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo.

The Orientalist

Author: Tom Reiss
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781588364449
Size: 60.15 MB
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Part history, part cultural biography, and part literary mystery, The Orientalist traces the life of Lev Nussimbaum, a Jew who transformed himself into a Muslim prince and became a best-selling author in Nazi Germany. Born in 1905 to a wealthy family in the oil-boom city of Baku, at the edge of the czarist empire, Lev escaped the Russian Revolution in a camel caravan. He found refuge in Germany, where, writing under the names Essad Bey and Kurban Said, his remarkable books about Islam, desert adventures, and global revolution, became celebrated across fascist Europe. His enduring masterpiece, Ali and Nino–a story of love across ethnic and religious boundaries, published on the eve of the Holocaust–is still in print today. But Lev’s life grew wilder than his wildest stories. He married an international heiress who had no idea of his true identity–until she divorced him in a tabloid scandal. His closest friend in New York, George Sylvester Viereck–also a friend of both Freud’s and Einstein’s–was arrested as the leading Nazi agent in the United States. Lev was invited to be Mussolini’s official biographer–until the Fascists discovered his “true” identity. Under house arrest in the Amalfi cliff town of Positano, Lev wrote his last book–discovered in a half a dozen notebooks never before read by anyone–helped by a mysterious half-German salon hostess, an Algerian weapons-smuggler, and the poet Ezra Pound. Tom Reiss spent five years tracking down secret police records, love letters, diaries, and the deathbed notebooks. Beginning with a yearlong investigation for The New Yorker, he pursued Lev’s story across ten countries and found himself caught up in encounters as dramatic and surreal, and sometimes as heartbreaking, as his subject’s life. Reiss’s quest for the truth buffets him from one weird character to the next: from the last heir of the Ottoman throne to a rock opera-composing baroness in an Austrian castle, to an aging starlet in a Hollywood bungalow full of cats and turtles. As he tracks down the pieces of Lev Nussimbaum’s deliberately obscured life, Reiss discovers a series of shadowy worlds–of European pan-Islamists, nihilist assassins, anti-Nazi book smugglers, Baku oil barons, Jewish Orientalists–that have also been forgotten. The result is a thoroughly unexpected picture of the twentieth century–of the origins of our ideas about race and religious self-definition, and of the roots of modern fanaticism and terrorism. Written with grace and infused with wonder, The Orientalist is an astonishing book.

General Alexandre Dumas

Author: John G. Gallaher
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 9780809320981
Size: 20.50 MB
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Although General Alexandre Dumas was a fascinating man and a bold, distinguished Napoleonic soldier, he has been overshadowed by the literary successes of his son Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo) and grandson, the playwright Alexandre Dumas. Gallaher reveals General Dumas' extraordinary life in eighteenth-century France, providing the first biography in English of the mulatto soldier who knew both the favor and the wrath of Napoleon Bonaparte. Born Thomas-Alexandre Davy de Ia Pailleterie in 1762 to an enslaved black woman and a white French nobleman, the young Thomas Alexandre spent his first fourteen years on the island of Saint Domingue. Following his mother's death, Alexandre joined his father in Normandy in 1776. Later, he moved to Paris alone. In 1786, after losing financial support for his libertine Parisian life, Thomas-Alexandre enlisted as a private in the French army under his mother's name?Dumas. From there began a distinguished military career that saw early rapid advancement, peaked with high favor from Napoleon, and ended after unjust attempts on Dumas' life.

The Orphan Master S Son

Author: Adam Johnson
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0679643990
Size: 23.57 MB
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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master’s Son follows a young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea. NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE WINNER • LONGLISTED FOR THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION’S ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL • WINNER OF THE CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker • The Washington Post • Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Financial Times • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The Plain Dealer • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • Scott Turow, The Millions • Slate • Salon • BookPage • Shelf Awareness “The single best work of fiction published [this year] . . . The book’s cunning, flair and pathos are testaments to the still-formidable power of the written word.”—The Wall Street Journal Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return. Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.” Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master’s Son is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love. A towering literary achievement, The Orphan Master’s Son ushers Adam Johnson into the small group of today’s greatest writers. Praise for The Orphan Master’s Son “An exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.”—Pulitzer Prize citation “Mr. Johnson has written a daring and remarkable novel, a novel that not only opens a frightening window on the mysterious kingdom of North Korea, but one that also excavates the very meaning of love and sacrifice.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “Rich with a sense of discovery . . . The Orphan Master’s Son has an early lead on novel of [the year].”—The Daily Beast “This is a novel worth getting excited about.”—The Washington Post “[A] ripping piece of fiction that is also an astute commentary on the nature of freedom, sacrifice, and glory.”—Elle From the Hardcover edition.

The Patriarch

Author: David Nasaw
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143124072
Size: 78.10 MB
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Draws on exclusive access to the subject's records to offer insight into his shrewd financial talents and considerable ambition for his family, discussing the controversies surrounding his character and his role in several mainstream political events.

The Secret Oral Teachings In Tibetan Buddhist Sects

Author: Alexandra David-Neel
Publisher: City Lights Books
ISBN: 9780872860124
Size: 28.48 MB
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This is an account of the Madhyamika (Middle Way) school of Buddhism, a method of mediation and enlightenment that was developed by the great Indian teacher Nagarjuna. In a collaboration between the Frenchwoman Alexandra David-Neel and her friend, the Tibetan lama Aphur Yongden, these teaching are presented clearly and elegantly, intended for the layman who seeks a way to practice and experience the realization of oneness with all existence. Alexandra David-Neel was born in 1868 in Paris. In her youth she wrote an incendiary anarchist treatise and was an acclaimed opera singer; then she decided to devote her life to exploration and the study of world religions, including Buddhist philosophy. She traveled extensively to in Central Asia and the Far East, where she learned a number of Asian languages, including Tibetan. In 1914, she met Lama Yongden, who became her adopted son, teacher, and companion. In 1923, at the age of fifty-five, she disguised herself as a pilgrim and journeyed to Tibet, where she was the first European woman to enter Lhasa, which was closed to foreigners at the time. In her late seventies, she settled in the south of France, where she lived until her death at 101 in 1969.

The Girls Of Atomic City

Author: Denise Kiernan
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451617542
Size: 44.80 MB
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THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC C ITY AT THE HEIGHT OF WORLD WAR II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians—many of them young women from small towns across the South—were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. That is, until the end of the war—when Oak Ridge’s secret was revealed. Drawing on the voices of the women who lived it—women who are now in their eighties and nineties— The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity. Denise Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women: their pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage. Combining the grand-scale human drama of The Worst Hard Time with the intimate biography and often troubling science of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Girls of Atomic City is a lasting and important addition to our country’s history.

F Hrer Ex

Author: Ingo Hasselbach
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
ISBN: 9780701165369
Size: 71.56 MB
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This is an inside account of a neo-Nazi paramilitary group. It is told by Ingo Hasselbach, who grew up in East Germany, and rebelled against the Communist regime. He then went on to become involved with the fascist movement, which he has now left.

The Invisible Front

Author: Yochi Dreazen
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 0385347847
Size: 44.21 MB
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The unforgettable story of a military family that lost two sons—one to suicide and one in combat—and channeled their grief into fighting the armed forces’ suicide epidemic. Major General Mark Graham was a decorated two-star officer whose integrity and patriotism inspired his sons, Jeff and Kevin, to pursue military careers of their own. His wife Carol was a teacher who held the family together while Mark's career took them to bases around the world. When Kevin and Jeff die within nine months of each other—Kevin commits suicide and Jeff is killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq—Mark and Carol are astonished by the drastically different responses their sons’ deaths receive from the Army. While Jeff is lauded as a hero, Kevin’s death is met with silence, evidence of the terrible stigma that surrounds suicide and mental illness in the military. Convinced that their sons died fighting different battles, Mark and Carol commit themselves to transforming the institution that is the cornerstone of their lives. The Invisible Front is the story of how one family tries to set aside their grief and find purpose in almost unimaginable loss. The Grahams work to change how the Army treats those with PTSD and to erase the stigma that prevents suicidal troops from getting the help they need before making the darkest of choices. Their fight offers a window into the military’s institutional shortcomings and its resistance to change – failures that have allowed more than 3,000 troops to take their own lives since 2001. Yochi Dreazen, an award-winning journalist who has covered the military since 2003, has been granted remarkable access to the Graham family and tells their story in the full context of two of America’s longest wars. Dreazen places Mark and Carol’s personal journey, which begins when they fall in love in college and continues through the end of Mark's thirty-four year career in the Army, against the backdrop of the military’s ongoing suicide spike, which shows no signs of slowing. With great sympathy and profound insight, The Invisible Front details America's problematic treatment of the troops who return from war far different than when they'd left and uses the Graham family’s work as a new way of understanding the human cost of war and its lingering effects off the battlefield. From the Hardcover edition.